The newest chapter in the Hobbit trilogy manages to curtail the sing-alongs and exposition that kept many audience members from fully embracing last year's An Unexpected Journey. Director Peter Jackson brings all of his special effects knowledge to this film, the first to truly showcase the fantasy that has led to millions of readers' love for Tolkien's timeless tale. Giant spiders, orcs, elves and a talking dragon (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) all make appearances during the film's 160-plus minutes. Cumberbatch's performance, in particular, as the dragon Smaug, infuses the film with the tension that was lacking from the first installment. While the dangers faced by our band of small heroes were fairly small-scale, Cumberbatch relishes the opportunity to be a scaly version of a Bond villain, near impossible to defeat and viewing his opponents as more nuisance than opponent.
Official Site: www.thehobbit.com/index.html
Director: Peter Jackson
Writer: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro, Peter Jackson and J.R.R. Tolkien
Producer: Carolynne Cunningham, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh
Cast: Martin Freeman, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Ian McKellen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Lee Pace and Richard Armitage
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